Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How does the Childress-Harvick merger affect the Nationwide Series?

On Wednesday, Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress announced that Harvick would merge KHI with RCR for the Nationwide Series starting in 2012.

The team is still scheduled to field Elliott Sadler in the No. 2 and various RCR drivers in the No. 33 for 2012, and no announcement was made about KHI's truck program, which has won the last four races in the Camping World Truck Series.

The merger ? thankfully ? doesn't diminish the full-time car count in the Nationwide Series as of now, but it does raise questions as to where Austin Dillon fits in at the organization after Childress has said the plan is to run Dillon full-time in the Nationwide Series in 2012.

No, Dillon, Childress'�grandson,�isn't out of a ride, but given that the No. 2 and No. 33 are pretty much set for 2012, a third team would be needed to field Dillon full-time. Or does Dillon, who is making two Sprint Cup Series starts later this season, make the jump to the Sprint Cup Series if Clint Bowyer does end up leaving RCR? It's a longshot, sure, but it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Childress has also said that he'd like to run Austin's younger brother Ty, currently the ARCA points leader, in the Truck Series full-time in 2012, and it's unclear how the merger announcement affects the teams' truck plans. Harvick is fielding three trucks this year, one for multiple drivers and for Ron Hornaday and Nelson Piquet, Jr., while Childress is running trucks for Austin Dillon and Joey Coulter.


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